Zucchini Parmesan is such a delicious recipe. You can use it with zucchini, eggplant, or yellow squash. You could probably use it with green tomatoes or portobello mushrooms, too. It’s one of those tasty recipes that you can never get enough of. Every bite is amazing. In fact, I could have sat down and eaten the whole casserole in one sitting, it’s that good! Thankfully, I restrained myself and only had one serving. Anyway, it’s a great way to use up garden vegetables or veggies that are in season.
I am indebted to Jackie Anza, from Milford, Massachusetts, for this fantastic recipe. Jackie grew a garden in her back yard every year. It was like therapy for her. She loved watching things grew. Sometimes, though, the garden got the best of her and the abundant supply was overwhelming in both quantity and size! (Like when zucchini becomes the size of a baseball bat!) Jackie gave me several recipes when we were trying to figure out ways to use up garden vegetables one year. All of them are not only delicious but recipes I have used many times over the years and not forgotten about.
Jackie’s boys and our boys used to hang out together growing up and we even took her boys camping with us once. If you have never camped at any of the state parks and state forests in New England, you are really missing something. It is like a boy’s paradise up there. Beautiful mountains, hiking trails, lakes, babbling brooks, water falls, plenty of good fishing, lighthouses and beaches, rocky cliffs on the shoreline, and some of the most stunning scenery you will see anywhere in this country.
Every time I make this recipe and a couple of others Jackie gave me, I remember the fun we had with her family. She and Phil were native New Englanders, we were transplanted southerners from Florida. I wanted to have them over for dinner one time and asked if they would eat Fried Chicken. They looked at me like, ewww! that’s gross….all that grease! But Phil had to admit after trying my Fried Chicken that it was delicious, and not as greasy as he expected it to be. Jackie was one of those people you just wanted to be around. She had great wisdom and discernment and when she spoke, people listened. I don’t mean that facetiously like the E.F. Hutton commercial, either. I mean for real! She could diagnose a situation in an instant and she was always right.
This recipe calls for a zucchini the size of a club!!! Yeah, one of those whoppers that are hidden by all the foliage and you find about a week after you should have harvested it! One of the problems with zucchini once it gets that large is it’s kind of seedy and tough. Preparing zucchini this way helps provide a delicious meal where you don’t notice the toughness of the vegetable because it softens in the marinara sauce while it cooks.
I use real parmesan cheese in this recipe (not the stuff from the can), and sometimes I even add mozzarella on the top. But you don’t have to. In the casserole that I made last night I planned to add mozzarella after the casserole baked, but it still had the Parmesan cheese, so I skipped it. This can be used as a meatless main dish or a side dish, whichever you prefer.
When I initially posted this recipe in September 2012, I had only recently begun this food blog. I knew so little about blogging and even less about taking pictures. While I still could NEVER consider myself a professional photographer, I’m trying very diligently to get better and make my recipes and pictures more appealing. I remade this recipe last week (October 2014) for some friends who recently had a baby and decided to go ahead and take some fresh pictures with a better quality camera and lighting. I think you will be able to see this delicious dish a little more clearly than the first go round. Enjoy.
Zucchini Parmesan is an excellent dish to make for Meatless Mondays. It’s hearty and filling and completely satisfying.
Here’s what Zucchini Parmesan looked like just out of the oven.
Zucchini Parmesan is a great casserole to serve company. Everyone always loves it.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients.
Spray a 9×13″ casserole dish with cooking spray. Olive oil cooking spray is nice for this casserole. Spray a large cookie sheet. Wash and slice 2 large zucchinis. On a plate, sprinkle at least 1-2 cups of Italian style bread crumbs. In a bowl, whisk 2 or 3 eggs together. Dip each zucchini slice into the egg and rotate so both sides are covered. Shake off excess egg drippings.
Dredge zucchini pieces in bread crumbs, rotate so both sides are covered.
Place dredged zucchini on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven.
Place a layer of the baked zucchini in the bottom of the greased casserole dish.
Dab a little spaghetti sauce on top of the zucchini pieces.
Cover this layer of spaghetti sauce with another layer of zucchini slices.
Dab the zucchini slices with a little more spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle the spaghetti sauce with shredded Parmesan cheese. Don’t use the stuff out of a can if you can avoid it. Freshly grated parmesan cheese provides a superb flavor.
Place another layer of baked zucchini slices on top of the cheese. I tried to rotate the zucchini layers so they were not stacked exactly on top of each other but, instead, overlapping the ones underneath. Spoon some more of the spaghetti sauce over top of the zucchini slices. Notice I used twice as much sauce for this layer. Add another layer of zucchini slices over top the spaghetti sauce and more cheese.
Cover your casserole dish with a lid or foil. If using foil you will have to tent it after about 30 minutes or the cheese will stick to the foil. bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Remove lid. If desired, add mozzarella cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
Zucchini Parmesan is one of the best side dishes we’ve ever eaten. We like it so much that I usually serve it as a Meatless Monday main dish.
Here’s the recipe.
(From Jackie Anza, when we attended Christ Baptist Church, Upton, MA)
- 1 whopper zucchini (the size you’d use as a club!) or 2 very large zucchinis
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Bread crumbs (You’ll use between 1-2 cups)
- Prepared spaghetti sauce – about 1 to ½ jars
- 8-oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese (if desired)
- 6-oz. shredded Parmesan cheese (I use both the shredded kind from a can, and real shredded Parmesan cheese)
- Slice zucchini into ¼” rounds.
- Dip in egg, shake off excess, and then dip both sides in bread crumbs.
- Place on sprayed cookie sheets and bake at 350° for about 20-30 minutes or until browned.
- In sprayed baking dish, layer sauce, zucchini slices, sauce, zucchini, etc.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese between every two layers.
- Sprinkle generously with grated Parmesan cheese on the top.
- Bake about 30 minutes at 350° until bubbly.
- If desired, top with Mozzarella cheese and bake about 10 minutes longer.
You will savor every bite of Zucchini Parmesan!
If you enjoy Italian dishes, you’ll love Zucchini Parmesan.
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